School books with opposing views

Susan1

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I mean really. What's next, books making slavery look good? Or devil worship? What is wrong with people?
 

Vagabond

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Prancer

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The school superintendent posted a statement on Facebook:

Dear Dragon Families:
As the Superintendent of Schools, I express my sincere apology regarding the online article and news story released today. During the conversations with teachers during last week’s meeting, the comments made were in no way to convey that the Holocaust was anything less than a terrible event in history. Additionally, we recognize there are not two sides of the Holocaust. As we continue to work through implementation of HB3979, we also understand this bill does not require an opposing viewpoint on historical facts. As a district we will work to add clarity to our expectations for teachers and once again apologize for any hurt or confusion this has caused.
Regards,
Lane Ledbetter
 

MacMadame

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I mean really. What's next, books making slavery look good? Or devil worship? What is wrong with people?
You know, the Satan group should start trying to make schools teach that devil worship is legit to show "both sides" and I bet these groups will stop passing laws about showing "both sides" of things that don't have two sides.
 

caseyedwards

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I remember it was very controversial to teach why the Nazi blamed the Jews for everything and why they did the Holocaust. I didn’t see it as a Holocaust denial move more like the nazi point of view on why they viewed it was right to do the Holocaust
 

ЭPiKUilyam

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You know, the Satan group should start trying to make schools teach that devil worship is legit to show "both sides" and I bet these groups will stop passing laws about showing "both sides" of things that don't have two sides.

Satanism is not a bad religion. It's not about killing babies and animals at all. I am in tune with much of what is taught in Satanism, though I am most definitely a Christian. People should research it and decide for themselves what it actually is before they judge it. I wouldn't mind it being taught in schools as a valid religion.
 

ЭPiKUilyam

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The school superintendent posted a statement on Facebook:

Dear Dragon Families:
As the Superintendent of Schools, I express my sincere apology regarding the online article and news story released today. During the conversations with teachers during last week’s meeting, the comments made were in no way to convey that the Holocaust was anything less than a terrible event in history. Additionally, we recognize there are not two sides of the Holocaust. As we continue to work through implementation of HB3979, we also understand this bill does not require an opposing viewpoint on historical facts. As a district we will work to add clarity to our expectations for teachers and once again apologize for any hurt or confusion this has caused.
Regards,
Lane Ledbetter
Maybe Ledbetter needs to discuss this with Ms. Gina Peddy, then? Apparently she feels there is at least a second "side" of the Holocaust (and we already know who they are who think that). But what gets me is this from the article: "In the recording, Peddy told the teachers to remember a new Texas law that requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing “widely debated and currently controversial” issues. I didn't realize there is a belief shared by Ms. Gina Peddy that Holocaust history is debatable and controversial. Maybe to them, but is Holocaust history really widely debated or in any way controversial? But it's Texas, at least it's happening up in Dallas.
 

ballettmaus

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I remember it was very controversial to teach why the Nazi blamed the Jews for everything and why they did the Holocaust. I didn’t see it as a Holocaust denial move more like the nazi point of view on why they viewed it was right to do the Holocaust
It is important to know why the Nazis did it but there are two ways to teach that. You can either present it as a legitimate different point of view or you can use it to educate while also making clear that it was nothing more than a pathetic excuse that they used to justify their horrific acts.
 

MacMadame

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Satanism is not a bad religion. It's not about killing babies and animals at all. I am in tune with much of what is taught in Satanism, though I am most definitely a Christian. People should research it and decide for themselves what it actually is before they judge it. I wouldn't mind it being taught in schools as a valid religion.
The point <---- Erik -> :scream:
 

Prancer

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I wonder if there would have been a statement and an apology if they hadn't got caught.
I think it's very likely that no one knew what Ms. Peddy was going to say before she said it.
Maybe Ledbetter needs to discuss this with Ms. Gina Peddy, then?
I realize that this is going to sound like an excuse, but IME, people who do training in schools are very rarely well trained themselves and often don't understand laws. There are people who work in public schools to this day who do not understand how prayer in public school works--and how long has that law been in place?

In this case, I think the legislature has made a law that isn't well understood (or particularly clear, which must be said as well--largely because legislators have very little understanding of or actual interest in education) and then this woman was told to explain it to the teachers when she didn't have a good understanding of it herself. That happens all the time with all kinds of subjects and is one reason that even good academic programs fail when put into widespread use. No one is willing to invest the time and money into training; everyone is just supposed to figure things out as they go along.
 

ЭPiKUilyam

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I think it's very likely that no one knew what Ms. Peddy was going to say before she said it.

I realize that this is going to sound like an excuse, but IME, people who do training in schools are very rarely well trained themselves and often don't understand laws. There are people who work in public schools to this day who do not understand how prayer in public school works--and how long has that law been in place?

In this case, I think the legislature has made a law that isn't well understood (or particularly clear, which must be said as well--largely because legislators have very little understanding of or actual interest in education) and then this woman was told to explain it to the teachers when she didn't have a good understanding of it herself. That happens all the time with all kinds of subjects and is one reason that even good academic programs fail when put into widespread use. No one is willing to invest the time and money into training; everyone is just supposed to figure things out as they go along.
That could be it, but I sense that this lady is subtly trying to push a far right, white supremacist agenda. I'm sure she supervised the editing of all Texas' schoolbooks too...
 

Wyliefan

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I see your point, @Prancer. And I would really like to think that it was just a question of confusion over the law.

But when Peddy said "That's come up," it makes me think that she'd been dealing with that particular issue long enough to have figured out how to handle it better than this. And why on earth would she have brought up the Holocaust in the first place? Why not an issue that really does have two sides, and not genocide?

But again, I'd love to be wrong.
 

Prancer

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That could be it, but I sense that this lady is subtly trying to push a far right, white supremacist agenda. I'm sure she supervised the editing of all Texas' schoolbooks too...
Might be, might not be. I am sure there are people combing through her social media right now for signs.

But I know exactly what she meant when she said "Believe me, it's come up." I had it come up just yesterday in a class and the student who brought it up was quite angry when I cut him off and said that we were not going to waste time on baseless conspiracy theories. It wasn't the first time it has come up and it won't be the last.

But I have the entire system behind me on this (although things can get dicey on other issues), which is often not the case at all for public school teachers, who have to actually deal with parents. If you define "controversial" as things people bitch at the schools for teaching (which is generally how schools look at the issues), then yes, the Holocaust is controversial.
 

attyfan

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.... If you define "controversial" as things people bitch at the schools for teaching (which is generally how schools look at the issues), then yes, the Holocaust is controversial.
IMO, it also depends upon the nature of the controversy. People may bitch at the schools because they think a specific book or film used in teaching the Holocaust to a specific grade level is not age appropriate, but that may well be a different issue than the idea that it never happened. For example, when I was about 12, my Torah school used a film to teach the Holocaust that showed footage of the corpses -- I spent a day in bed, crying. My mother objected, on the theory that 12 year olds could be taught the subject, but without the photos.
 
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Prancer

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IMO, it also depends upon the nature of the controversy. People may bitch at the schools because they think a specific book or film used in teaching the Holocaust to a specific grade level is not age appropriate, but that may well be a different issue than the idea that it never happened.
But the law in question simply says that teachers have to provide alternative views for “widely debated and currently controversial” issues. It doesn't say valid viewpoints only--and it won't, ever.

Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes, who wrote the Texas bill, denied that it requires teachers to provide opposing views on what he called matters of “good and evil” or to get rid of books that offer one perspective on the Holocaust.

“I’m glad we can have this discussion to help elucidate what the bill says, because that’s not what the bill says," Hughes said.


No, it's about issues that involve slavery and race in the US, which have nothing to do with good and evil.

Instead of worrying about the curriculum director, I think people ought to be a little more concerned about Senator Hughes.

 

ЭPiKUilyam

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But the law in question simply says that teachers have to provide alternative views for “widely debated and currently controversial” issues. It doesn't say valid viewpoints only--and it won't, ever.

Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes, who wrote the Texas bill, denied that it requires teachers to provide opposing views on what he called matters of “good and evil” or to get rid of books that offer one perspective on the Holocaust.

“I’m glad we can have this discussion to help elucidate what the bill says, because that’s not what the bill says," Hughes said.


No, it's about issues that involve slavery and race in the US, which have nothing to do with good and evil.

Instead of worrying about the curriculum director, I think people ought to be a little more concerned about Senator Hughes.

Good versus Evil never works. Most people don't see themselves as the evil ones. Including Christians these days. I am totally at a loss at how Trump has brainwashed Christians. Incredible.
 

Japanfan

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Good versus Evil never works. Most people don't see themselves as the evil ones. Including Christians these days. I am totally at a loss at how Trump has brainwashed Christians. Incredible.

Well, I supposed the opposing view of the Holocaust might be the some people are inferior to others and deserve to be oppressed and denied the basics of life, or get exterminated. Something like that.

I think this POV is worthwhile to explore in the classroom, actually. Because it is so horrible and perverse.

But may not until university, or Grade 12 at the least.

Steven Spielburg said that he wanted 'Shindler's List' to be shown in all classrooms throughout the nation.

I think this is a wiser idea than just discussing it. The film does present the opposing view and show how repugnant/inhumane it is.
 

MacMadame

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Well, I supposed the opposing view of the Holocaust might be the some people are inferior to others and deserve to be oppressed and denied the basics of life, or get exterminated. Something like that.
The ones I have heard are: Not as many people died as we are told, it wasn't just Jews who died (Which is true but that makes it worse not better IMO), and of course that none of it happened or at least there weren't gas chambers that people died in (deniers tend to shift their arguments around so I'm not sure exactly which version is the current denier talking point).
 

Aussie Willy

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Well, I supposed the opposing view of the Holocaust might be the some people are inferior to others and deserve to be oppressed and denied the basics of life, or get exterminated. Something like that.
Well many people who hold prejudicial and discriminatory viewpoints will always have something to back it up based on history or what they read. They can totally justify it. In their minds they have developed those views through their education rather than being brought up that way. They never look at an individual who might have been born in a particular country as a person but rather a stereotype based on what they perceive to be deficiencies or generalisations. You cannot argue with these people and tell them you should take every person you meet as an individual and decided what they are like based on their own personal actions. It is like banging your head against a brickwall. In that case you just don't enter into a discussion or respond. Because generally they are looking for a debate or response to then prove how well read they are and can justify their [insert discrimination of choice]. I don't give them the oxygen.
 

Vagabond

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Well, I supposed the opposing view of the Holocaust might be the some people are inferior to others and deserve to be oppressed and denied the basics of life, or get exterminated. Something like that.

I think this POV is worthwhile to explore in the classroom, actually. Because it is so horrible and perverse.

But may not until university, or Grade 12 at the least.
The National Holocaust Museum says that this topic can be taught as early as Grade 6.


Israeli school children start visiting Yad Vashem in Grade 8.


I think somewhere in this age range is the time to begin. Not every student makes it to Grade 12, let alone college.
 

Prancer

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The ones I have heard are: Not as many people died as we are told, it wasn't just Jews who died (Which is true but that makes it worse not better IMO), and of course that none of it happened or at least there weren't gas chambers that people died in (deniers tend to shift their arguments around so I'm not sure exactly which version is the current denier talking point).
The one I hear most now is that not as many people died as we are told. Flat-out denial is actually pretty rare for me. But the argument that not as many people died as we are told is just a gateway to denial, because the argument tends to go "And if they are lying about that....."
I don't give them the oxygen.
You have the option of walking away. Not everyone does.
Also, kids are smarter than a lot of people give them credit for and not necessarily delicate flowers either.
Indeed. I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was in fourth grade and again in seventh when it was a reading list option. But I was introduced to the history of the Holocaust even before I read the book. I don't know if that was a good idea or not, but that's how it was.

Sometimes the kids have issues, but most of the time, it's the parents.
 

Vagabond

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The one I hear most now is that not as many people died as we are told.
Which is a silly one, since the people who say that typically focus only on the number of Jews who died, not the total number who died.

Copying over from Wikipedia:

VictimsMurdered
Jews5–6 million
Soviet civilians5.7 million (excl. 1.3 million Jews)
Soviet POWs2.8–3.3 million
Poles1.8–3 million
Serbs300,000–600,000
Disabled people270,000
Romani130,000–500,000
Freemasons80,000–200,000
Slovenes20,000–25,000
Homosexuals5,000–15,000
Spanish Republicans3,500
Jehovah's Witnesses1,250–5,000

Even if one uses the conservative figures from this table, that's 16 million who perished.
 

Prancer

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Even if one uses the conservative figures from this table, that's 16 million who perished.
The argument is silly, but those are not the numbers they use. For one thing, they argue that there were fewer than a million Jews in Germany when the Nazis came to power. This is true; there were around 600K Jews in Germany at that time.

The fact that the Nazis didn't discriminate geographically and killed Jews (and others) wherever they found them? Allied propoganda, designed to make the Nazi look bad.
 

Japanfan

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It is important to know why the Nazis did it but there are two ways to teach that. You can either present it as a legitimate different point of view or you can use it to educate while also making clear that it was nothing more than a pathetic excuse that they used to justify their horrific acts.

Not to mention, a crime against humanity (as well as a crime against the Jews).
 

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